Cons: Awkward to see both display and controls; no computer output
Bottomline: The Blik provides a far greater choice of stations than any conventional radio
Internet radio has finally come of age now that there are dedicated receivers that work without a computer.
Revo’s Blik Wi-Fi Internet Radio is a strangely shaped black or white box, like a giant chunk from a chocolate bar. It has a panel of 23 control buttons on top and a two-line, 16-character screen on its front.
You have to have a wireless router at home to use the Blik, but as long as it can find a wireless network signal and a connection to the internet, setup is a doddle.
The radio automatically scanned for networks and is able to work with protected ones, once you've entered the password. It then downloads details of available stations and in our case found around 11,000.
That’s a lot of stations, so it's important to be able to select from them in a useful manner. The Blik can do this in two ways: by location and by genre. You can select stations coming from a specific country or those with a particular type of content.
If you find a station you like, the radio can create a preset for it, though given the vast number of internet radio stations available, having just eight presets is a little lacking. The radio can also pick up FM broadcasts.
Sound quality is excellent, detailed and with good sound across high and low tones, though it works in mono only, not stereo. There are sockets at the back for headphones and output to a hi-fi, as well as a port for connecting an iPod. It would have been good to have a PC output, too, for recording tracks you enjoy, but that's no great loss.
The least attractive part of the Blik is its design. If you put in on a bedside table, you can see the display well enough, but it's necessary to tilt the radio forward to see the buttons on its top. If you have it on a desk you can see the buttons on top but you must then squat to view the display. You can use the supplied remote control, but that means that there's one more remote control in the house to mix up or lose.